Captain Phillips

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

It was nominated for six Oscars, but didn't win any. That's probably why I kept falling asleep.

It's about—no surprise—Captain Rich Phillips, who helmed the Maersk Alabama, a container ship steaming off the Somali coast, which had the misfortune to be the first American ship in 200 years to be hijacked by pirates. In case you weren't paying attention to the news back then, this actually happened.

The Somalis are a sorry lot; they don't seem to have much of anything except for guns and khat. And a boat fast enough so they can catch up to the Maersk and climb aboard. (It seems to be way too easy for them.)

Tom Hanks plays Captain P, just as an ordinary joe from Vermont, albeit with a hot wife (Catherine Keener). Part of the movie's power turns on the fact that Phillips is no action hero: no feats of derring-do, no smart remarks, not even a lot of cleverness. But he muddles through, doing his best, and who are we to imagine we would do any better?

That's one lame title, though.

Just another note: at the very end of the flick, Captain Phillips is being examined by a female Navy Corpsman, and according to IMDB, it's an actual Corpsman who was told to "simply follow her usual procedure." I'm here to tell you: if I'm ever abducted by pirates, she's the one I want to do the post-captive exam. She's amazing.